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Dispute between Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos over satellite orbits

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Elon Musk attacked Amazon on Tuesday in a tweet and accused the company of wanting to “cripple” its space company SpaceX. Both SpaceX and Amazon have satellite projects for high-speed Internet: Starlink at SpaceX and Kuiper Systems at Amazon. Musk’s company is trying to convince the US communications agency, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), to allow it to lower some of its Starlink satellites to lower altitudes than originally planned. Other companies, including Amazon, have protested the motion, claiming the move would put their own satellite launches at a disadvantage.

CNBC news reporter Michael Sheetz on Monday tweeted quotes from David Goldman, a SpaceX director who appeared before FCC officials last week. He described Amazon’s objections as “misleading” and as “attempts to suppress competition”. On Tuesday Musk reacted himself now. “It is not in the public interest to paralyze Starlink today for an Amazon satellite system that is at best several years away from being operational,” he said.

Amazon accuses SpaceX of “nipping competition in the bud”

Amazon struck back and accused SpaceX of trying to suppress competition. “The facts are clear. We designed the Kuiper system to avoid interference with Starlink, and now SpaceX wants to change the design of its system, ”an Amazon spokesperson told CNBC. The spokesman added, “These changes not only increase the risk of collisions in space, they also increase radio interference for customers. Regardless of what SpaceX posts on Twitter, it is the changes SpaceX proposed that would cripple competition among satellite systems. It is clearly in SpaceX’s best interest to nip competition in the bud when they can, but it is certainly not in the public’s interest. “

SpaceX has launched more than 1,000 satellites to date and broke a world record on Sunday – launching 143 satellites on a single rocket. SpaceX’s internet service has also started in different parts of the world, most recently in the UK. Kuiper Systems has not yet launched any satellites, but plans to launch a fleet of 3,236 satellites, according to Amazon. SpaceX’s plans are broader: the company hopes to put a total of 42,000 satellites into orbit. Musk has quarreled with Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos in the past and previously made fun of Kuiper Systems. He had Bezos a “Imitators” called.

This article was translated from English by Steffen Bosse. You can find the original here.

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